My First Day Back From the Perspective of the Fifth Day Back. Yoga at the YWCA and Appearances. Then Onto Jam Making  

My first day back in Canada began early, despite the fact that I got home very late as I was attempting to resolve the conflict with United Airlines by speaking at great length with a woman in a supervisory position who subsequently reneged on her promises. Renege shall be the word of the day, when used as a verb: he reneged on his campaign promisesdefault on, fail to honor, go back on, break, back out of, withdraw from, retreat from, welsh on, backtrack on; break one’s word/promise about. ANTONYMS honor. I am most disappointed in her and the Airlines but I will deal with it later. No use letting stupidity and inefficiency and rudeness ruin one’s precious moments.  
But I gamely arose and went to a class at my new gym, the YWCA. Stephen Colbert has this great joke: “I never go to the gym So I bought a home gym. Now I never go home.” That is definitely not my modus operandi – I ALWAYS go to the gym, before the Equinox and now the YWCA. The pool at the Y is closed for maintenance, therefore, in lieu they were most considerate and were offering a class in chair yoga. I mistakenly called it lap yoga in an email to a friend and wittily commented: 
Me: So lap yoga is different than lap dancing I think. 
She: Alexis you are so nasty 
Me: Thanks 
There were about ten people in the class, so nice and small, not crowded and moreover I was not the oldest in the class. All of this was quite different than the classes at Equinox. There was a calmness, it was utterly relaxing and the instructor was excellent. She was relaxed with herself and with the class and there was an atmosphere of conviviality. It went overtime, someone said that it would be great if this were a continuing class therefore one of the men in the class and yours truly went and submitted a form making such a request. I do hope they honor it – there are other yoga classes at the YWCA but this fills a particular niche. It is easy on my knees which I do need to protect. Hottie definitely helped me so much so their mobility must be carefully guarded. 
After class I walked back towards home with the thought of stopping in at Vancouver Art Gallery. But something caught my eye on the corner of Hornby and West Georgia Street 
(affectionately known as Horny and West Groping). It was an exhibit entitled Appearances. I entered the lobby of HSBC and was amazed. It is the work of Jianjun An, a Chinese artist. I know a great deal about him because not only is the art freely given but also visitors are provided with a shopping bag full of treasures including a catalogue Jianjun An: Appearances.  The Introduction was written for the art exhibition and contained the following information. 
“Jianjun An is a traditional man from Northwest China. At an early age of eighteen, he left his birthplace in Gansu China in pursuit of his dreams as an artist.He travelled from Shandong to Shanzi, then finally made his way to Vancouver, Canada after thirty years of hard work.” The Introduction chronicles the many struggles he faced immigrating to this country and the many lowly jobs he was forced to take in order to survive. “Yet, these experiences of hardship have to robbed him of his identity as an artist. Instead, they have enriched his creativity and enthusiasm, which are clearly visible in his artworks.” He apparently remains a humble man, “carefully assembling together his every thought and feeling into masterpieces of art.” 
(Someone very dear to me wrote that my book, loaned to him, was a masterpiece. You will read this story tomorrow.) The art in this exhibit is apparently different from his usual work consisting of sixteen ‘portraits’ of immigrants. It is nothing short of amazing. The exhibit is staffed with young enthusiastic women. We had the BEST time, standing in front of each portrait and ‘guessing’ what country the subjects came from. We were almost always in agreement with one another. At first I thought that this should be included as a ‘blurb’ accompanying the art but we decided not – that contemplating this on one’s own was a much better way to enter the art and its subjects. Then one looks at the detail, the distinguishing characteristics and the brush strokes. I posted on Instagram wearing my funny yellow hat purchased in Norway so many years ago. It seemed that people should know about this exhibit. My video can be found on Instagram – I am alexismctwit on Instagram. 
I lunched in the lobby. I gently told a rude customer about the practice of manners:
Her to staff: Charge this to me card! 
Me: You should probably say please. It would be polite. 
She: Please!
I sat and ate. Two women at an adjoining table were not looking at the art and were consumed in a banal conversation consisting of criticizing other women They were oblivious of their surroundings, basking in negativity. I have pity for them because on some level they must know that others are doing the same thing to them – they are the topic of gossip. I am sure I am too, but I do not spread the negativity around. I am surrounded by so much caring and affection that sometimes it even alarms me. Another woman was sitting alone reading a book. I saw an image, a crucifixion scene, and walked over to comment. It was a book about Assisi and I had been there years ago. We spoke of the sheer delight in being there and I vividly remembered the tiny village in Italy. She had been there in June and was refreshing her memory. We spoke briefly of the two miserable women at another table and laughingly said it was best to be on one’s own. 
Me: This Noah’s Arc stuff – either your husband or a girlfriend – is just so inhibiting. 
She: You are so right! I was enjoying Assisi and then you came to speak to me and we both then enjoyed Assisi. 
Me: I know, and those two were not exactly discussing Nietzsche.
She: You are funny!
Me: Thanks, A sense of humor is inherited. By the way, do you want a blog card? 
She: Of course! 
I keep trying to take my book – the ‘masterpiece’ to the two young girls and show them  but they are never there when i happen by. I shall keep trying and perhaps ‘speak’ to Artist An’s immigrants as I did to the women in the Tate pictured on the walls of the Permanent Collection at the Tate Britain. We shall see. 
Bu, all this and I can cook too. When DDD was over for lunch I told him of my horrible plight. I was gifted with free ripe apricots from a wonderful man, the owner of a market on Seymour. The man told me I should make apricot jam. I dutifully went to the library, got a book on jam. Then I purchased jars and a container to cook the jam. The recipe contained Amaretto, which cost a fortune. The free apricots turned into major expenditure and the jam preparation had begun but had not been completed. 
Me: The goal of the weekend is to make the jam,
He: I will text you on Sunday to see if it is made. 
Me: Thanks. That will encourage me to get it done. 
Well, here is the happy ending to this story. I texted him yesterday, 
Me; You made the blog DDD, in a nice way.
He: Awesome I’ll check it out later when I get back home. 
Me: AND I made the jam. 
He: Excellent! Before the Sunday deadline. You’re amazing. 
Me: You are too! Hahaha A whole day early for the jam and if you are real good I will give you a jar of it! 
By the way, I checked with DDD and he said it was fine that I blogged about our conversations. He has no trouble at all and he likes his nickname. When he left, after lunch, I went to shake his hand. 
He: What are you doing? Shake your hand? I want a hug! 
Me: You shall get one. I love giving and receiving hugs.     

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